I have been building up courage for a long time to write about some of the defining moments of my life, the moments of misfortune that have helped me become the person I am today.
Every time I run a workshop or coach a client, when we get to dealing with hard times, I tell people about my loss and how strong I have become as a result. I think I owe it to all my readers too.
[If this is your first time here, please read the lead-up to this post – 35-hour Baby and Baby Hope]
Immunization to heartache
…I hugged my belly every day, trying hard to gain strength to survive another day. Twice, I did a special ultrasound check to confirm that the heart defect that had killed my son would not hit us again. Every time, the specialist reassured me this baby girl was perfectly fine.
Eden, who was just 5 years old, was very anxious. As most parents know, time is not a concept kids understand very well. She had been asking for a baby sister (she would even settle for a brother) for over 2 years and waiting through two pregnancies was way too long for her.
Every time, she asked, “Mom, how do you know it won’t happen again? How do you know this baby won’t die too?” and every time, we said, “We go to the specialist and he checks and tells us that our baby is perfectly fine”. Every night, before bedtime, I explained to her that it had been an accident, that at the end of 9 months, we would bring home a baby and that this baby would bring the smile back to our life.
On the 32nd week of my pregnancy, I got up in the morning and hugged my belly as always. Much like some other days, I felt no movement. I took a shower, ate some chocolate, which usually got the baby to wake up and start moving, but I still felt no movement.
I rushed to see my doctor. She hooked me up to a monitor and there was no heartbeat!
I tried opening my eyes, hoping I would wake up from this nightmare. It was too real to be a dream. My baby was dead inside me!
I went back in time, trying to push the clock backward and give birth to her just the day before. I had felt her at night. She probably said goodbye and I did not hear. In my naivety, I hoped that after losing one child, I would be immune to further disasters and my next baby would be born healthy, as if I had had my share of heartaches in this life and there was some “court of justice” somewhere that would prevent me from suffering again, but I was wrong. I was so wrong I wanted to die.
For hours, I could not find comfort in anything around me. The next day, I went to the hospital to give birth to my dead baby girl. She had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. As if fate was laughing at me, this was the only baby I delivered easily and without surgery.
I did not feel any physical pain. I felt like I was in a dark place, with not a single ray of light. I asked “Why?” and had no answers.
Eden kept saying, “But you said it wouldn’t happen again!” with a lot of anger and disappointment. She did not trust us anymore, because we had promised her a live, healthy baby sister she could play with and had not delivered. We had wanted to believe it would not happen again, but it did. It wasn’t fair. No one ever said life was fair. Fairness was just not part of the deal. My heart was bleeding and I did not even have the strength to wipe the blood off…
Come back tomorrow and I will share with you some of the thoughts of a tormented mind. You know what I am like now, so stick around until the end.
May you never have to learn the important lessons of life through pain,